Why Are Car Wheels Getting Bigger?

If you notice the car designs of this decade & compare them with the designs of the 1960s, you will realize how bigger the wheels have become. At that time the most hyped vehicle was the Mini scuttled with a 10-inch rim. Nowadays the models of the Toyota offer quite a large rim around 18 to 19 inches. So, why are car wheels getting bigger? Is it all about looks or does it have any real advantage?

Actually, the basic reason for the increase in wheel size is their looks. Obviously, the cars with larger wheels seem more sporty & classy than small ones. However, they have many drawbacks as well. For instance, large rims tend to increase the intensity of vibrations while passing through a speed bump. It also reduces the space for passengers.

Evolution Of Car Wheel Designs

From the very beginning, cars with small tires were designed to offer performance along with better handling. Cars with large tires somewhat degrade the riding quality. Though dampers and bushes can compensate, it’s not that effective the way people make out. 

If we just go back 60 years, we will find cars with 10-inches wheels. Those may have literally looked like the wheels of a go-kart, but the manufacturers of that time prioritized the passenger space & comfort over the looks. 

The car designs were gradually changing over time. In 1970 car designers drew cars with big rims for the very first time and they appeared to be sportier in outlook. In 1991 BMW 318i came up with a 14-inch rim to provide that sporty appearance. This model could easily run over potholes as if it was swung by soft & fluffy clouds.

Currently, the modern BMW 330i features 18 inches rim and you can purchase the 19-inch one just by investing an extra $500. However, the ride on a BMW 330i will obviously be harsher than a BMW 318i (1991). 

Why Do Cars Have Bigger Wheels?

Almost every person out there questions, Why have larger wheels on a car? Why are car wheels getting bigger when they might affect the riding quality? 

In this modern age, cars are getting bigger, so the wheels have to grow as well to maintain the pace. If you go to the market right now, you won’t come across a car with a 10-inch rim. Moreover, the car will look not only weird but also broken.  So, the automobile manufacturers don’t actually have much smaller options to maintain the appealing proportions. 

Moreover, large wheels are not bad in all aspects. For instance, they can also pass through road imperfections much more easily than smaller ones.

SEE MORE: How To Tow A Front Wheel Drive Car (Expert Tips)

How Do Bigger Wheels Affect Cars?

What effect do bigger wheels have on a car? How Do they even affect you?

I believe you have already got an idea by now. Check out the key points below for further confirmation.

  • The First & foremost disadvantage of bigger wheels is the cost. The larger the alloy rims are, the costlier the wheels become.
  • Secondly; larger wheels can’t usually offer a smooth & comfy ride. While passing through a pothole or speed bump, the car will vibrate just like the eardrums.
  • Thirdly, the large wheel design usually takes up a lot of space. So, if you go with a car with a 22-inches rim, you definitely have to compromise the passenger’s space inside.

However large wheels are pretty favorable in some aspects. So, What Is The Advantage Of Bigger Wheels On A Car?

  • Firstly, large wheels are more suitable for modern-day vehicle designs. The car definitely looks cooler & sportier.
  • They offer better handling and increase the demand for low-profile tires. Low-profile tires are best for giving the feel of sharp steering.
  • While passing through a rocky imperfect terrain, large wheels have higher chances of survival without being swallowed or deflated.

What Type Of Wheel Would Be Best For Your Car? 

Due to the amazing riding performance of small tires, many car designers think that there might be some chance that small wheels may be dominant in the future. However, how small can they even get maximally? They won’t obviously include a 10-inch rim on a newly modeled car. The car will look totally broken. That’s why designers don’t have many options for decreasing the size.

As cars are a big investment, think twice before you choose a car with big wheels & large alloy. I would advise testing the chosen vehicle with different wheels before reaching the final decision.


Why do cars have bigger wheels now? 

Nowadays, cars are getting bigger so do the wheels to maintain the overall pace. Then the overall appearance of the car is also a point. The bigger the wheels, the more sporty the car looks. Obviously, it has several disadvantages as larger wheels tend to degrade the riding quality. However, large wheels can pass through road imperfections more conveniently than small ones. 

Why are larger wheels popular?

The First and foremost reason for larger wheels being popular is – they are more appealing & stylish indeed. Secondly, large wheels and alloys offer better handling, especially on a rocky uneven road where small wheels may be deflected if it passes through a large pothole.

Do larger wheels improve the ride? 

To be honest, the bigger the wheels get, the rougher the ride becomes. They also reduce the space for passengers. However, some modifications like dampers and bushes can compensate a bit to make the ride comfier. As we said before, in this modern-day, to cope with modern-day vehicles, large wheels are necessary too.

Final Thought

Every year new models are coming with an extra-large rim even though large wheels offer a rough ride. I believe after reading our article you already got the reason by now. Nowadays many companies are manufacturing large-rimmed sporty cars without any compromise in comfort or packaging. Cars are literally a big investment so beware before you choose the best one. So, have you decided on the wheel size that will suit you the most?

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James D. Brown
Everybody wants her/him ride experience should great. but don’t have the time to do all the research and comparisons to figure out – what wheels they should get next and where they should get it. I’m James, a sports car enthusiast like many of you. I created this site, write the reviews, and answer your comments. Join me on this ride.

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